We offer a Nutritional Therapy Service specialising in supporting feminine health issues with a scientific approach to diet throughout Oxfordshire.
A woman’s menstrual cycle lasts, on average, around 28 days. For some women it’s longer. For others shorter. Some women sail through it barely noticing any chance in demeanour or alteration to their lifestyle. For others it can be crippling - physically and mentally.
The period before menstruation can cause severe mood swings and can last for days or weeks and is known as Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). The physical side-effects range from bloating to excessive bleeding and painful cramps. Many women only find relief from their symptoms one week out of four, their life becoming dominated by their menstrual cycle. In addition conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids , amenorrhea / metrorrhagia / menorrhagia exacerbate the problem.
Nutrition can help allay the symptoms so that life isn’t governed by the menstrual cycle. Hormonal imbalances can be helped by ensuring that the body has the correct proteins and fats in place for hormonal synthesis and that the liver is helped to metabolise the spent and used hormones. Underlying issues with other conditions such as adrenal fatigue, anaemia or thyroid problems can also be supported.
Women are born with a lot of eggs, all our eggs are in our ovaries by our own 1st trimester, an amount ranging from 300,000 to 2 million. When these all run out (1 a month is released during ovulation, the rest are reabsorbed back into the ovaries - unused) we’ve hit the menopause.
Actually we haven’t reached the Menopause. The menopause is considered to be reached a year after the last period. Otherwise this period of transition is known as perimenopause and it isn’t always plain sailing. Some women turn around one day and figure that they haven’t opened that box of tampons for many months. Others, as their sex hormones fluctuate widely, suffer the full gamut of hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, headaches, mood swings, fatigue, urination issues, uncomfortable sex from vaginal dryness (that’s when they even want sex as libido also suffers) and pre-menstrual symptoms that were even worse than when they were still having regular periods.
The nutritional approach to the menopause is similar to that of supporting women through other menstrual issues. It ensures that the liver is able to do its job of metabolising spent hormones and that there is sufficient nutrition to produce whatever hormones the ovaries are still capable of producing. However as the production from the ovaries lessens the adrenal glands step up their production of oestrogen and become the main producer. A dietary protocol would help to support the adrenals to do this whilst also addressing blood sugar levels. Plants rich in phytoestrogens such as soy or flaxseed are also often included. Phytoestrogens, although weaker than a woman’s own oestrogen, can help to mimic its physiological role and bring about a more balanced hormonal profile.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone related problem caused by small cysts growing on a woman’s ovaries, which subsequently cause a hormone imbalance. This imbalance causes problems with the regularity of women’s periods and releasing eggs, and can also cause problems for women when trying to get pregnant.
With any hormonal condition the nutritional approach would be provide all the factors needed for adequate hormone synthesis (quality protein, essential fats, minerals and vitamins) but also liver support to ensure that spent hormones are metabolised and excreted so that they don’t skew the hormonal profile. In addition PCOS sufferers have issues with controlling blood sugar levels and insulin so the nutritional protocol would be based around a diet rich in fibre and protein but low in caffeine, sugar and processed foods. Specific attention is also paid to nutrients such as chromium which play a key role in regulating blood sugar.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be a particularly distressing condition. Its specific picture of hormonal imbalance means elevated levels of androgens, sometimes resulting in increased hair production so that upper lips and arms can become quite hairy.
Other symptoms are irregular periods, weight gain, acne and infertility or recurring miscarriages.
Within a few weeks I really noticed a difference, I’m sleeping
better than I have in a long time. Saffron took the time to understand
my lifestyle and habits and then made recommendations and
adjustments that were easy to build into my everyday life.